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The impacts of weather uncertainties on freight transport supply chains

Pandey, S., Naim, Mohamed Mohamed and Potter, Andrew Thomas 2010. The impacts of weather uncertainties on freight transport supply chains. Presented at: 15th International Symposium on Logistics (ISL 2010), Kuala Lumpar, Malaysia, 4-7 July 2010.

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Abstract

While much research has been undertaken on the impact of weather uncertainties on the demand side of business’, little has been done on the supply side. Various weather events could cause ‘delays’ (Short 2002) and ‘monetary losses’ (Watanabe 2006). This paper firstly identifies the impact of weather uncertainties on the freight transport elements of the supply chain, and secondly it assesses the predictability of weather forecasting services to mitigate the impacts of such uncertainties. The objectives of the research are; 1. Identify the risk (in terms of severity and frequency) that various weather events have on the different modes of freight transport. 2. Assess the predictability of a weather forecasting service with regard to freight transport. Design/methodology/approach An existing ‘Logistics Triad Uncertainty Model’ (Sanchez Rodrigues et al., 2007) is utilised for undertaking the analysis. Via a survey of UK logistics practitioners’ estimates of weatherrelated risk are provided based on assessments of delays and monetary losses that weather events cause. Interviews with weather forecasters are undertaken to determine the granularity and accuracy of weather forecasts. Findings The predictability of weather forecasting service depends on the weather event being forecasted. Each weather event is distinctly associated to “possible forecast accuracy” and a “possible level of forecast customization”. Particularly with regard to multi-modality, wind is seen to have the most impact on freight transport but it is also the most predictable. The paper concludes that there is major opportunity for utilising weather forecasts to ensure the resilience of multi-modal freight transport chains. Research limitations/implications The estimation of risk associated with each weather event, is based on the responses to the questionnaire-based survey, and could vary with number of survey-respondents. In addition, the accuracy related to a forecast depends on the ‘forecast length’ and the ‘forecast grid side’. These dependencies are not elaborated in this paper. There is limited literature related to impact of weather on freight transport (specifically). This could be a future research topic. The cost implications of adverse weather, that are specific to freight transport, could be an interesting research area. Practical implications Usage of weather forecasting in freight transport could reduce delays in the supply chain and hence add to total customer value. However, there are some limitations to the accuracy and level of customisation of forecasts related to some weather events like snow and fog. What is original/value of paper Some previous research has been undertaken on the impact of weather on impacting customer demand behaviour and on the supply of agriculture and food. There is also considerable interest on the impact of freight transport on climate change. This paper takes an alternate view and assesses how extreme weather events, governed by climate change, may impact on freight transport and how logistics companies may make best use of available forecast data to mitigate against such events.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Date Type: Completion
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Business (Including Economics)
Centre for Advanced Manufacturing Systems At Cardiff (CAMSAC)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HE Transportation and Communications
Uncontrolled Keywords: Logistics; Operations management
Related URLs:
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 03:37
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/23641

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